Hawaii wrestling fans might want to remember the name Tiare Lynn Ikei.
Ikei, the daughter of well-known strength and conditioning coach Chad Ikei and the sister of two-time state champion Chance Ikei, is a Kaiser freshman and she knocked off top-seeded Brianna Leong of Leilehua in the 102-pound quarterfinals during the first day of the Hawaii Wrestling Officials Association Scholarship Tournament at the Leilehua gym Friday.
“We expected her to be in the finals this week,” Cougars coach Mike Kim said.
A freshman? Why?
“The work she puts in,” Kim added. “She’s in the weight room all the time.”
Kim said Ikei had been wrestling at 107, but dropped down this week to “test the waters” at 102. He added that she was a little light for 107.
Ikei will wrestle Kamehameha’s Ashley Gooman in the semifinals Saturday.
Three boys No. 1 seeds were knocked off Friday:
>> At 106 pounds, ‘Iolani’s Kainoa Torigoe upset top-seeded Isaac Adriano of Campbell in the second round.
>> At 145, Mililani’s Zack Diamond lost to Kaiser’s Nicholas Mair by default due to injury in the quarterfinals.
>> At 182, Kamehameha’s Trever Kahunahana stopped No. 1-seeded Ian Ramirez of Punahou in the second round.
Diamond, a two-time state finalist was accidentally kneed in the solar plexus while both wrestlers were going down to the mat and couldn’t continue.
Diamond’s brother Tyler Diamond, who is a Mililani coach, said Zack, unlike last season, was not hampered by any nagging injury going into the Officials tournament. A year ago, knee and shoulder problems kept Zack from making a serious bid at a state crown.
Trainers determined that Diamond’s injury was not to his ribs. He will be getting X-rays. Diamond is ranked No. 6 in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s boys pound-for-pound rankings.
Up until this year, Torigoe has always had teammates ahead of him in his weight class, according to Raiders coach Walden Au,
“He’s a tough kid who has been wrestling since seventh grade,” Au said about the junior. “The Campbell kid (Adriano) is tough too and it went all the way to overtime. Two weeks ago in a dual meet against Campbell, Torigoe pinned him.”
Kamehameha coach Ola Silva had high praise for Kahunahana.
“He’s not a captain, but he has captain qualities,” Silva said. “He’s always been a backup to other wrestlers and this year hopefully he can make a name for himself. He is always one of the best wrestlers in the room.”
In another 145-pound boys quarterfinal, one side of the gym (which had six mats total) was rocking during Lahainaluna’s Justin Inovejas‘ win over Pearl City’s Makoa Cooper. The match went back and forth many times and it was tied 6-6 before Inovejas scored the pin.
Two pound-for-pound ranked girls go head-to-head in the 122-pound semifinals Saturday — No. 6 Alexis Encinas of Lahainaluna vs. No. 7 Kalissa Pundyke of Campbell.
Some heavy-duty showdowns could happen in the finals. If the front-runners keep winning, we may get these matchups:
>> No. 3 Shandon Ilaban-Totten of Kapolei vs. No. 4 Blaysen Terukina of Kamehameha in the 132-pound class.
>> No. 5 KJ Pascua of ‘Iolani vs. No. 8 Thomas Stevenson of Baldwin at 152.
>> No. 9 Caragh Morris of Campbell vs. Kamehameha’s Callen Mediros at 168. Medeiros, the top seed, pinned Morris, a two-time state finalist, in the state final last season.
Other boys and girls pound-for-pound ranked wrestlers who will compete in the semifinals tomorrow are: No. 1 Liam Corbett of Leilehua (160), No. 2 Cameron Kato of Punahou (126), No. 4 Asia Evans of Pearl City (127), No. 5 Bailey Hoshino of Punahou (97), No. 7 Cody Cabanban of Saint Louis (106), No. 9 Triston Santos of Campbell (113), No. 10 Angela Peralta of Radford (145, formerly of Campbell), and No. 10 Connor Villarmia of Damien (170).
Of all the pound-for-pounders listed above, Corbett, Kato, Ilaban-Totten, Terukina, Evans, Pascua, Hoshino, Encinas, Cabanban, Santos and Villarmia have all won a state title.
Rick Williams, who is a coach at Aiea and one of the tournament’s organizers, said the tournament began with 492 competitors.
In other wrestling news, Kahuku coach Moke Galletes confirmed that state champion Jocelyn Alo will not be wrestling this year.
Alo, a junior, transferred to Campbell to play softball, according to Galletes.
“Softball is her ticket,” the coach said. “We’re pretty disappointed, but we support her in whatever she wants to do. She has softball scholarships on the table. She said she wants to graduate from Kahuku, so she may transfer back for her senior year.”
Donavyn Futa, who won the 113-pound state title as a freshman and skipped her sophomore year, is back wrestling again as a junior this season, according to Kamehameha’s Silva. She is not wrestling at the Officials tournament.
“She’s back,” the coach said. “She had honor classes last season and had a lot on her plate. I think she’s found some balance and is ready.”
Also, sophomore defending 122-pound state champion Teniya Alo of ‘Iolani is rehabbing after shoulder surgery, the Raiders’ Au said.
“She hurt her left shoulder in the Officials tournament last year,” said Au, who added that she wrestled hurt all the way through the states.
“She’s doing some cardio and some light technique work,” Au said. “We’re looking at early January as a possible time for her to return.”